Russian Federation says Britain must recall more than 50 diplomats

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UK Prime Minister Theresa May ordered the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats on March 14, describing them as "undeclared intelligence officers".

France, Germany, Canada and Poland each said that Russian Federation was expelling four of their diplomats.

Sedwill was speaking to reporters on a visit to Washington where he's consulting with US officials.

Sedwill cited the downing of the 2014 downing of an airliner over eastern Ukraine, cyberattacks, subversion and use of mercenaries as other examples of Russian aggression.

Thirteen Ukrainian diplomats should also leave Russian Federation. The U.S. isn't ruling out further steps against Russia, Nauert said. "Russia is in flagrant breach of worldwide law and the Chemical Weapons Convention, and actions by countries around the world have demonstrated the depth of global concern".

She says the US reserves the right to respond to Russia's response.

Britain has said it is "highly likely" that Russian Federation was responsible for the Skripal attack using the Novichok nerve agent developed in the Soviet Union, but Russian Federation has angrily denied any involvement.

"You know that Russian Federation was forced to take retaliatory steps in response to those unfriendly, nonconstructive and unlawful actions, in this case, related to the expulsion of our diplomats and the closure of the consular post", he said, in reference to the U.S. moves. It's obvious that the West is baiting Russia into going on the offensive and/or reacting disproportionately so that whatever it does could then be decontextualized and weaponized into a misleading narrative for "justifying" further anti-Russian policies, but Moscow has remained calm for now and is exercising the utmost caution in formulating its response.

The confrontation "looks not so much like a cold war than a fight without rules", said Konstantin Kosachyov, head of the foreign affairs committee of the Russian upper house of parliament.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said Moscow would respond with "tit-for-tat" measures, but they might "not only" be symmetrical.

"The Embassy has sent a diplomatic note demanding the British side to provide explanations of the incident". "Unfortunately, it doesn't solve the situation, but deepens the tension", a spokesman at the Latvian Foreign Ministry said.

But Guterres said Thursday it's different in two important ways: There are more players in conflicts than during the two-superpower era and fewer communication channels set up to keep problems from escalating.

Now Russia has reacted on the countries, mostly North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members and other allies by expelling 59 diplomats.

Russian Federation said Thursday it will expel an equal number of diplomats from those nations.

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The order means that a total of 150 foreign diplomats must leave embassies in Moscow.

On the streets in Saint Petersburg, passersby said they welcomed the decision to shut down the U.S. consulate general.

- MOLDOVA, CZECH REPUBLIC, LITHUANIA: Three Russian diplomats expelled from each country.

And Moscow has told the United Kingdom to take home more than 50 of its diplomats in the ongoing row over the nerve agent attack. Britain and its allies have dismissed previous Moscow claims that they possessed that type of nerve agent.

Russian Federation has accused Britain of failing to back up its accusations with evidence and refusing to share materials from the probe.

The Foreign Ministry added that it would also consider mirror expulsions of diplomats from Belgium, Hungary, Georgia and Montenegro.

- SPAIN, NETHERLANDS, DENMARK, ITALY, ALBANIA, AUSTRALIA: Two Russian diplomats expelled from each country.

Sergei Skripal, 66, a former double agent, remains in a critical but stable condition.

"This action was in no way aimed at the Russian people, with whom Canada has long and fruitful ties", he said.

Yulia Skripal came out of critical care on Thursday.

"I'm pleased to be able to report an improvement in the condition of Yulia Skripal". A British policeman who attended the scene of the poisoning, in the English city of Salisbury, was hospitalised.

British authorities say they were poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent and have blamed Russian Federation.

Britain has to reduce its diplomatic staff in Russian Federation by more than 50 people, the foreign ministry said today, following an escalating row over an attack on a former double agent.

The wave of expulsions comes a day after Russia announced that it would expel 60 United States diplomats and close the USA consulate in St. Petersburg in retaliation for a similar step by Washington, which said Monday it would be expelling 60 Russian diplomats and closing the Russian consulate in Seattle. The ministry condemned the poisoning, calling it a "serious challenge to common security".

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